Electronic Taster Has A Nose For Coffee
An "electronic taster" for coffee has been developed by
Swiss researchers. The food industry regards machines like this as essential for good quality control. Coffee presents a real challenge; roasted coffee aroma is composed of more
than 1000 volatile organic compounds.
(From Coffee tasting machine diagram)
The researchers started by having a team of ten trained human taste testers go over a set of samples, and assess the taste and aromatic qualities of the coffee. The espresso coffees selected for this study were blended mainly from different Arabica varieties with some Robusta. They used a Quantitative Descriptive Analysis, consisting of nine aroma and two taste attributes scored on a scale ranging from 0 (not intense) to 10 (very intense) for each product by monadic sensory evaluation. They expressed their judgment in terms like roasted, flowery, woody, and toffee.
The researchers created a device that would heat a sample of espresso and then analyze the gases released by monitoring the headspace over the device. The chemical information was then translated into the taste qualities used by the human judges. The result for each sample was a unique profile (see profiles below). The red colored outline represents the results of the human testing.
(From Coffee tasting machine sample profiles)
-red colored outline represents human test results-
The coffee-tasting machine research will appear in the March 1st issue of ACS' Analytical Chemistry.
Science fiction writers have been thinking about machines with a sense of smell for a long time. In his classic 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury created the chilling mechanical hound that guarded the fire station:
Nights when things got dull, which was every night, the men slid down the brass poles, and set the ticking combinations of the olfactory system of the hound and let loose rats in the fire house area-way. Three seconds later the game was done...
(Read more about Ray Bradbury's mechanical hound)
Another attempt to visualize sniffer robots and assign them a practical task is found in the 1985 movie Runaway by Michael Crichton. In the film, detectives use a four-legged sniffer robot to find and identify trace compounds at a crime scene (see Crichton's sniffer robot from Runaway).
If you have a nose for this sort of news, read on:
From When Machine Tastes Coffee: Instrumental
Approach To Predict the Sensory Profile of
Espresso Coffee [pdf] via Eurekalert.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/21/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )
Related News Stories -
Eden-ISS, Greenhouse In Antarctica
'With this kind of light we could get the gardens going again." - Barbara Humbly, 1983.
Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?
Chowbotics Salad Robot, Sally
'... gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus.' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1912.
Tomatoes From Sun And Seawater
'Hydroponics. Gotta almost do it, if I'm going way out to Mars without much supplies.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1961.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Biggest HiSeas 'Mars Mission' Problem? No Internet
I think sf writers have this covered!
Clever Electric Truck Generates More Power Than It Uses
Better than a fictional electrotruck!
Eden-ISS, Greenhouse In Antarctica
'With this kind of light we could get the gardens going again."
Make Space Tools On The Spot (Like Moties)
'A moment ago it was squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon...'
Will Robots Be Moral If We Raise Them Like Our Children?
'The birth of Machine, my robot child...'
Foldable Galaxy Phones, I Swear They're Coming (Maybe)
How hard can it be?
Bacteria Behave Differently In Space
'The Republic struggled to control its Sours...'
Brain Connected To Internet - ‘Brainternet'
Artificial Spider Silk
You can also use it to make a roof - on an asteroid.
MIT Tunes Ions For Frictionless Surface - Superlubricity!
'My telelubricator here neutralizes the interatomic bonds the surface of any solid...'
Seiko Astron Always Knows Your Time Zone
'Harrington glanced at his wrist watch - a bulky affair - and whistled.'
Robot Buddhist Priest Chants, Drums
'He crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth...'
Koniku Kore, Mouse Brain-Based Chip, Detects Explosives
'As a matter of fact, this mouse is going to keep on thinking forever.'
CNH Industrial Autonomous Tractor Concept Video
'...the tiny red glints of self-guided tractors.'
The Neuroon Open Sleep Tracker For Lucid Dreaming
'Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer on the bedside shelf.'
Siri Now Smoother, Perkier (Thanks, Deep Learning!)
'Good morning, Dr. Chandra. This is Hal.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories